Queenstown to Christchurch - Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand

After our Milford Sound day trip we headed back to Queenstown, and there met up with our friend Jeni. We celebrated our reunification with another trip to Fergburger - I swear if I lived in Queenstown I'd be the size of a house!! We were going to go out for a few drinks as well but as Lucy had come down with a cold we decided to postpone that.
The following day we spent again having a wander round Queenstown and enjoying the many souvenir shops, and the delights of Fergbaker for lunch! The evening was yet another burger fest - we each bought a different one and cut them in thirds so we could all try a few different burgers - so much food, so little time! We then headed to the Find after a few drinks in the hostel for a few cocktails, and then had a bit of a boogie in Buffalo bar - and we all have the free bikinis to prove it!
The next day we left Queenstown (probably best - our waistlines were expanding rapidly!) and headed up to Lake Tekapo.This was another gorgeous lakeside setting, and one of the nicest hostels we've stayed in with kiwi, but unfortunately the weather was not in our favour again and it spent the whole time tipping down with rain again, so the whole bus had a group movie session, and during the course of the afternoon we managed to watch quite a few films - every time we finished one and looked outside, the rain had got worse!! It was a bit of a shame as Tekapo is a great place for star gazing at night, but clearly the planets did not wish to be looked upon that night.
From Tekapo we headed on to Christchurch.This obviously was destroyed in the huge earthquake a couple of years back - in fact there have been several large earthquakes here in recent years, but the 2011 earthquake is perhaps the best remembered, as that caused the greatest loss of life. Everyone had told us that there was nothing left in Christchurch, but there is literally nothing left! So many times we had to turn round or double back because the road was closed off or there were demolition works in progress. Entire blocks were just empty building sites for several streets. Even most of the buildings that were still standing were derelict and covered in "Danger - do not enter" signs. I just couldn't believe the actual extent of the damage - it was like a warzone. We passed the old cathedral and peered over the barrier fences to see it - it looked quite sad, all empty and folorn and broken. We also went to see the new cardboard cathedral - disappointly not made entirely of cardboard, but close enough - even the cross at the front was made out of two large cardboard tubes. From here we went on to see the memorial to the 185 people who died in the earthquake - 185 chairs, all of varying styles and appearance, all painted white, stood on a derelict street corner.
Christchurch is doing it's best to continue on as normal - an entire shopping district has sprung up all made from shipping containers, which made for quite a funky little hangout, but overall the city is quite a sad place, and a reminder that mankind is not invincible, and nature is always more powerful.
This has only been a short blog, but it's squashed in between two huge ones so I thought I'd just do a quickie in between.

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